24 Mar 2015 · 28 Mar 2015
The Global Diaspora Network (GDN) will convene a Global Diaspora Forum in Manila, Philippines, on 24-28 March 2015. The GDN is the Lausanne issue network for diasporas, led by Lausanne Senior Associate Sadiri Joy Tira.
According to Grant McClung, President of Missions Resource Group, ‘The Manila forum will bring together some 500 international missions and church leaders to assess the current status and set a future agenda for reaching, discipling, and multiplying churches among “people on the move”.’ McClung, a charter member of the GDN International Advisory Board, also noted that a groundbreaking textbook in the emerging missions discipline of diaspora missiology will be launched at the Manila conclave. He is one of the section co-editors for the compendium project.
Senior Associate Sadiri Joy Tira is a Filipino-Canadian specialist in reaching ‘people on the move’ who are either internally displaced within their own countries or living abroad beyond the borders of their original place of birth. ‘One of the many challenging issues of missions that can no longer be ignored’, Tira says, ‘is ministering to, through, and beyond diasporas or the “scattered peoples”. Today, more than ever, mass movements of “borderless people” in large scale and higher frequency have clearly set a global phenomenon that has marked the 21st century. Migration is a complex issue that is increasingly changing societies, cultures, economies, and world demography.’
Through a series of consultations, lectures, and publications, the GDN is bringing the attention of the church to this strategic challenge and opportunity. Among other publications, Tira is the editor of The Human Tidal Wave: Global Migration, Megacities, Multiculturalism, Pluralism, Diaspora Missiology (LifeChange Publishing, 2013).
‘Migration experts have estimated that there are now over 214 million international migrants’, Tira noted, ‘and over 700 million internally displaced people. This means there are close to one billion scattered peoples.’
The Manila forum will assess the current status of ministry among scattered peoples and also work toward setting a strategic missional agenda for diaspora ministry for the next decade and beyond. ‘The forum be a working consultation’, McClung emphasized, ‘not just another congress.’ Participants, plenary speakers, workshop facilitators, and contributing authors (writing team) will reflect gender, age, ethnic, and denominational/church affiliation diversity. They will be globally representative persons such as pastors, evangelists and church planters, missionaries, missiologists, missions mobilizers, missions executives, national and regional missions leaders, field directors, denomination and church networks leaders, educators, theologians, historians, journalists, demographers, social scientists, social workers, medical and business professionals, and government leaders. The compendium textbook will be launched at the Manila forum.
Dr Tetsunao ‘Ted’ Yamamori has projected that, ‘In addition to the international process of resourcing and networking introduced by the Global Diaspora Forum in Manila, it will be important to have the foundational resource of the textbook compendium to add to a growing literature base for future generations of global leaders coming out of Christian universities, seminaries, and Bible colleges.’ From the outset of Lausanne’s strategic focus on diaspora mission, Yamamori has served as a special mentor and advisor to GDN. Yamamori is President Emeritus of Food for the Hungry International (Scottsdale, Arizona) and Senior Advisor to the Lausanne Movement (former International Director). He and Tira serve as Senior Editors of the diaspora missiology compendium.
The textbook compendium is part of the emerging literature on migration and mission and diaspora mission. It will be a definitive collection of essays on diaspora missiology, which is defined as: ‘A missiological framework for understanding and participating in God’s redemptive mission among people living outside their place of origin’ (Scattered to Gather: Embracing the Global Trend of Diaspora, LifeChange Publishing, 2010, p 9).
‘Through the Lausanne initiative of the Global Diaspora Network’, McClung reflected, ‘we are mobilizing local church and denominational missions leaders, missions agencies, missiologists and trainers, and marketplace leaders to be on mission with God as we seek to win the scattered lost, disciple them, and multiply life-giving churches in the global diaspora.’
See the related section IIC.5 on ‘Love reaches out to scattered peoples’ of The Cape Town Commitment.